News Briefs for April 1, 2022April 1, 2022
•Carlton McCoy, Jr. and the Lawrence family are launching the Ink Grade wine brand from Napa Valley into national distribution, represented by sales and marketing partner Demeine Estates in a targeted rollout. The Ink Grade estate vineyard lies in the northeast corner of the Howell Mountain AVA in Napa Valley, sitting at elevations as high as 2,200 feet. The 800-acre property has 200 acres under vine and is intended as a “grand cru of Howell Mountain,” according to McCoy. Its wines include a Sauvignon Blanc ($65), Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($225), and Andosol ($95), the latter drawing its inspiration from the historic field blends of California. Ink Grade will also open a St. Helena tasting salon, directly off of Highway 29, later this spring.
•Basil Hayden, part of the Beam Suntory portfolio, is rolling out a new limited-time offering, Basil Hayden Subtle Smoke. The new whiskey is created by first toasting and lightly charring a secondary barrel. Afterwards, hickory-smoked chips are ignited at a constant feed to produce smoke, which is then pumped into the barrel, resulting in soft charred notes during the six-month secondary aging process, according to the company. Bottled at 40% abv, Basil Hayden Subtle Smoke will be available at premium retailers across the U.S., positioned at $50 a 750-ml. Basil Hayden was up 21% to 475,000 cases in the U.S. last year, earning Impact “Hot Brand” honors.
•Livermore, California-based Wente Vineyards is introducing a packaging refresh that puts its Sustainable Vineyard and Winery certification center-stage on all front labels while transitioning to lighter, more carbon-neutral glass for its bottles. The new look debuts with Wente Vineyards’ 2021 Morning Fog Chardonnay ($18), which launches this week. Each new vintage release going forward in the Wente Vineyards portfolio will make the transition to the new packaging.
•Kentucky’s Limestone Branch Distillery has announced Yellowstone Family Recipe, a new Bourbon based on master distiller Stephen Beam’s historic family recipe. The 50% abv whiskey is bottled at 6 years old and will be released in allocations in April, August, and Q4 2022. In all, 6,000 cases of the whiskey will be released for a suggested retail price of $70 a bottle. The initial launch allocation will be available in Montana and Wyoming, with the Limestone Branch Distillery and other Kentucky retailers following shortly thereafter. The August and end of year allocations will be available across the U.S.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.